View this post on Instagram
A small private housing estate tucked away in the southern corner of Lantau; the Sea Ranch was originally a getaway for the city’s swankiest socialites. Promotional brochures from the time billed it as 'the exclusive resort club of Hong Kong', with spacious serviced apartment units, a massive private clubhouse, luxury restaurants, and most importantly, a sprawling, gorgeous beach out front. Sadly, the Sea Ranch eventually collapsed under the weight of its own ambitions and piled up a hefty $7 million debt just years after opening. This resulted in the holding company to be sold to its residents for a nominal $1. Shortly after, most residents ended up moving away, leaving a ghost town in their wake.
However, there has actually been a surprising wave of renewed interest in Sea Ranch in recent years, with some recent figures indicating a 70 percent occupancy rate. It’s possible to book a short stay in a hostel there, but the grand prize is actually owning a unit, a thought not entirely outside the realm of possibility given the estate’s significantly cheaper housing prices. The trade-off? No broadband internet, shops of any kind, or even road access. Residents also have to structure their schedules around the private ferry to Cheung Chau, which is the only transportation link between Sea Ranch and the rest of Hong Kong.
While visiting Sea Ranch itself is trespassing – any attempt to take the private ferry will immediately result in a forced return trip, courtesy of the estate’s security guards – the beach is supposedly open to the public, and can be reached via a trek from Pui O or chartering a private sampan from Cheung Chau to nearby Tai Long Wan.